Clash between criminal gang and villagers leaves 14 dead in central Mexico | Mexico #Clash #criminal #gang #villagers #leaves #dead #central #Mexico #Mexico

A clash between gunmen from a criminal gang and residents of a small farming community in central Mexico left 14 people dead and seven injured, local authorities said on Saturday.

Dramatic video of the fight on Friday posted on social media showed villagers in cowboy hats with sickles and hunting rifles chasing down suspected gang members amid bursts of automatic gunfire.

The Mexico state governor, Delfina Gómez, and other local leaders condemned the violence. They said it was a product of regional violence that has been slowly brewing for years. She assured local people that maintaining order was among her top priorities.

“These events do not paralyse us, on the contrary, they reaffirm our determination to improve security conditions in our beloved state, rest assured that we will continue working so that events like this are not repeated,” she said in a press conference on Saturday. “You are not alone, we are with you.”

Police in the State of Mexico, which abuts Mexico City, said the clash occurred in the hamlet of Texcaltitlán, about 80 miles (130km) south-west of the capital.

Officials said 10 of the dead were members of the criminal gang, while four were village residents. Police did not identify the gang, but confirmed that the violent Familia Michoacana drug cartel has been dominant in that area for many years.

The video appeared to show that the attackers wore military-style uniforms, some with helmets. Villagers apparently set their bodies and vehicles on fire.

Local media said Familia Michoacana gunmen showed up in the village earlier demanding local farmers pay a per-acre (hectare) extortion fee.

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Drug cartels in Mexico have been known to extort money from almost any licit or illicit business that they can, sometimes attacking or burning ranches, farms or stores that refuse to pay.

The Familia Michoacana is known for its brazen ambushes of police as well as the 2022 massacre of 20 townspeople in the town of Totolapan in neighbouring Guerrero state. The attack killed the town’s mayor, his father and 18 other men.

#Clash #criminal #gang #villagers #leaves #dead #central #Mexico #Mexico

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